Montague Rhodes James, OM, MA, (1862–1936), who used the publication name M. R. James, was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). He is best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature. One of James' most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal gothic trappings of his predecessors, and replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings.
H. P. Lovecraft was an admirer of James's work, extolling the stories as the peak of the ghost story form in his essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature." ... (more)